Broccoli, Leek and Feta Clafoutis is a soft, rich and deeply savory crustless pie, studded with griddled Tenderstem broccoli, leeks and dill. A filling dinner for four, or just-right side dish for six. Leftovers are good too, so don’t think of down-sizing. 🙂
Keeping going with my dive into my favourite cookbooks, this recipe is a riff on one from Diana Henry‘s latest cookbook, From the Oven to the Table. Written in her trademark warm, accessible voice, it is easy to pass an afternoon day-dreaming in its pages.
(Dish) size matters
I love all of Diana’s cookbooks for different reasons, but I adore the blueprint nature of this one. Most recipes are attractively fuss-free, tweakable affairs, where the only hard-and-fast stipulation is size of dish. Yes, size does matter.
Same goes for this recipe. If you decide to make it, pull out a 1-litre – give or take 100 mls – dish to fill with the griddled vegetables and custardy mixture of eggs, Greek yogurt, feta and pecorino cheeses. A bigger dish will give you a lumpy pancake (and not in a nice way). Too small and you will get a gloopy interior. What you want is a soft and light savory pudding that has you reaching for seconds.
What is a clafoutis?
You may have had a sweet, fruity version of clafoutis. You may have even made one. I have one on here for Cherry-Chocolate Clafoutis (terrible photos but delicious recipe). In its true form, this is a French dessert of eggs, cream, sugar, flour and fruit, puffing slightly as it is pulled from the oven. It quickly deflates, but this doesn’t in any way detract from the eating. A fruit-based clafoutis often has the texture of a “sturdy custard” (as stated by Elise Bauer of simplyrecipes). When cold many clafoutis can be slightly rubbery – just being honest! This is due to the egg-flour ratio.
In looks and texture a savory clafoutis – the best kind! – is akin to a crustless quiche, so is ideal for anyone with a lower-carbohydrate lifestyle and missing out on savory pies and the like.
This Broccoli, Leek and Feta Clafoutis is a quite a bit lighter, and not as cut-able as a traditional fruit-flecked clafoutis. Maybe that is because I use ground almonds in place of flour. Anyway, it is a soft, savory pudding as made here, studded with griddled vegetables – which you can totally switch out for something else – soft dill leaves (in this case fennel fronds as that’s what I grow) and some seasonings that I use a lot: black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom.
Bottle Farm – a mini garden in your kitchen
Speaking of dill and fennel, I had an email from UK start-up company, Bottle Farm. They have invented a kit to turn a 2-litre plastic bottle into a garden. Yes, a garden! The components to transform your waste into a mini garden are from 95 % recycled materials, and is very clever indeed. It’s attractive, too.
Co-founder Charlie Francis says: “There are lots of good reasons to grow your own fresh food. The problem is that most people don’t have the time or space to do it. So we have designed Bottle Farm to either hang on a window or sit on a flat surface. Now anyone can grow fresh produce at home with minimal effort. And at the same time extend the life of a plastic bottle.”
Bottle Farm is a self-watering system that uses hydroponic technology, which means the plants grow in water, rather than soil. Natural sunlight gives the plants energy to grow, so the kit doesn’t require a plug socket and electricity like other systems.
The kit is assembled with an empty plastic bottle. Simply cut a slot using the template and insert the Grow Pods, made from recycled coconut husk, and plant the provided seeds. Then add tap water and Plant Fuel, a special nutrient powder included in the kit. Now enjoy watching the seeds germinate and roots emerge, as the fresh vegetables, delicious herbs, and beautiful houseplants grow in your window.
Bottle Farm is now available on Kickstarter: ks.bottle-farm.com
Click on the above link to find out more, and to perhaps put your name down for the kit when it comes out. You can also grow plants from your own scrap vegetables and herbs. Disclaimer: I am not being paid to promote this product, nor will I receive any free products.
What’s in this Broccoli, Leek and Feta Clafoutis
Tenderstem broccoli/broccolini, but you can use regular broccoli. In the UK most Tenderstem packs are 200g each. You will want two of them.
A couple of leeks
Greek or Turkish yogurt – full-fat is best. I’ve not tested this with low-fat.
Feta cheese – get the good stuff.
Pecorino cheese – look out for ones made with vegetarian rennet if you need to. Vegetarian versions are widely available in the UK, but I’m not sure about elsewhere. It adds a extra depth of flavor but isn’t crucial if you can’t get it.
Eggs – five of them. Organic and free-range, please.
Fresh dill – half of a typical UK pack
Cardamom seeds, black pepper, nutmeg – you can just use the pepper, but if you have the rest, do use it. Again, depth of flavor
Ground almonds – or use polenta like Diana does
What you do
This is sooo easy – and quick. It’s really just griddle, mix, pour and bake. Throw some sliced red pepper tossed in oil into the oven while the clafoutis bakes, then prep a simple green salad to have alongside, for something fresh. Oh, and some chilled white wine would be – okay, is! – fabulous with this deeply comforting dish.
First of all you griddle the broccoli and sliced leeks to soften and only lightly char. You can instead roast them – about 10 minutes. Then you cut up the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, placing them in a oiled or buttered baking dish. Then you mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the vegetables, shaking gently to make sure the batter gets into all of the nooks and crannies. Finally you bake it in a moderate oven for a mere 15-20 minutes. Check at 15. If it is lightly golden and the middle isn’t wobbly, you are probably good to go. Insert a skewer if in doubt. You want it it come out with only the slightest cling of eggy batter. Fully-clean is fine. Leave to cool a wee bit while you tear up some green salad leaves and open a bottle of chilled white wine. Serve warm, scooping out portions with a spoon rather than cutting.
Amazon.co.uk affiliate link to Diana Henry’s From the Oven to the Table: Simple dishes that look after themselves: THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. Buying on this link costs you nothing extra and helps to off-set the cost of running Food To Glow and keeping it ad-free. Thanks so much x
Broccoli, Leek and Feta Clafoutis (low-carb)
A soft, rich and deeply savory crustless pie studded with griddled Tenderstem, leeks and dill.
- 400 g Tenderstem broccoli organic, if possible
- 2 leeks green ends removed and sliced thickly for griddling
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil extra if needed
- 5 medium organic eggs whisked until all one color
- 125 g feta cheese well-crumbled
- 125 g full-fat Greek or Turkish yogurt
- 40 g pecorino cheese finely grated; vegetarian versions are available in the UK
- 40 g ground almonds or polenta
- 10 g fresh dill fronds torn or chopped (no stems please)
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and very finely minced or grated
- ¼ tsp salt optional; more or less to your taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 green cardamom pods seeds finely crushed - optional
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Set the oven to preheat at 160C fan/350F. Oil or butter a ceramic gratin-type dish, or seasoned cast-iron dish, with the capacity of about 1 litre. Sizes vary, so see my dish for reference.
Toss the broccoli in half of the oil and add to a medium-hot griddle pan. Turn after three minutes. Cook a further 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Brush most of the remaining oil on the leeks and lay in the griddle pan, oil-side down. Brush the remaining oil on the tops fo the leeks and cook until soft and marked. Slice the Tenderstem into bite-sized pieces.
Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat with a fork.
Place the chopped Tenderstem and leeks into a oiled or buttered ceramic gratin-type dish, or seasoned cast-iron dish, with the capacity of about 1 litre. Sizes vary, so see my dish for reference. Pour over the creamy mixture. Shake the dish a little to get the mixture into the nooks and crannies.
Place the filled dish into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the clafoutis is just set and has a hint of color on the top.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Very good with roasted peppers, green salad and a glass of chilled white wine.
Other vegetables: Ms Henry uses roasted, thick slices of courgette and spring onions as her vegetables. I think this would be adaptable to most any non-watery vegetable. So, a good recipe to use up odds and ends as well as deliberately chosen vegetables.
Cooking the vegetables: you can roast the vegetables instead of griddling them. Do so at 180C fan/400F for about 10 minutes.
Nutritional values: the values will differ according to the products that you use. Dropping the salt and using salt-reduced cheeses will lower the sodium; using lower fat yogurt and cheeses will drop the fat of course.
Note: one of the images shows the ground almonds in the griddle pan. I toasted them. But don't bother I don't think it adds or detracts from the flavour or texture.